General Question

Safie's avatar

Do you respect your elders?

Asked by Safie (1223points) April 12th, 2015

I was always told that I should.

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25 Answers

longgone's avatar

I respect all living beings. I respect my teenage students just as much as I respect the eighty-year-old lady who lives next door.

talljasperman's avatar

Like everyone else they have to earn it.

tinyfaery's avatar

If they deserve it.

Safie's avatar

@tinyfaery I agree, not everyone deserves it. It has to be earned.

Safie's avatar

@talljasperman Yes indeed. Respect has to be earned. It is hard to respect someone who has not earned it.

Coloma's avatar

I am the elder now, only child, parents 6 feet under, well, one is dust in the wind. haha
Yes, respect is earned, not a given based on chronological age.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Ha ha. It’s funny. I’m regularly shocked at how old I’ve become and as I look around, I don’t see many people I could call my elders and I miss them greatly. When I was younger, seniors were possibly the only people, besides the sick, that I would approach automatically with respect, although even this was provisional. Everybody else pretty much had to show me that they deserved respect first.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

For me, everyone, no matter the age, starts out with a level of respect. Some end up with a higher level by their actions, and some chip away at it. The more I learn about a person, it sheds more insight as to why they act the way that they do. There are occasions that these reasons are worthy of discussing or just moving past it.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

For the most part yeah.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

If they’re worthy of respect. Not simply because they’re old. I too was told to respect my elders but often my elders fell short of deserving any special level of respect. I respect people, young and old, who behave in a fashion that deserves respect.

filmfann's avatar

Initially, I respect everyone. I do lose it for those I cannot abide.

JLeslie's avatar

Yes. I’m not even entertaining the idea that there are horrible people in every age group, I’m just responding to the general question do I respect my elders.

I basically respect everyone until they give me reason not to. Respecting your elders to me means respecting they have more life experience, more wisdom, and are from a different generation and should be shown the “respect” they expect, which might be a different expectation than our peers. What I mean is addressing them as they would prefer. If they are very old, having more patience, helping them, offering your seat, etc.

Blackberry's avatar

The ones that aren’t racist and ignorant, sure.

rojo's avatar

I am one of the elders and upon reaching said plateau I find that I was right the whole time; they were just making it up as they went along.

rojo's avatar

And, @Safie THEY were right you should respect us. You might want to try bowing a little lower next time, your forehead should be touching our feet

wildpotato's avatar

Intellectually – no, not more than I accord an automatic level of respect for basic rights to any other person. Behaviorally, I am inclined to be more solicitous to the elderly – not contradicting them, holding doors, letting them go first, etc. I’m also inclined to believe that they’ve had some past experience that led them to their current actions and opinions, rather than that they’ve pulled it out of their ass or are otherwise making stuff up as they go along. Not sure if either of those things can properly be called respect, though.

SmashTheState's avatar

“There’s no fool like an old fool.”John Heywood, 1546

I’ve known 9 year olds I would trust with my life. I’ve known 50 year olds I wouldn’t trust to water my plants.

basstrom188's avatar

I qualify as one of the elders and I’m not sure that I should command respect.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I used to facilitate a leadership workshop. One of the topics covered was on power (respect). There are two types: Position Power and Personal Power. The former comes with the title and the latter is earned. The best leaders achieve both.

susanc's avatar

I know from being oldish myself that very smart younger people still don’t “know” lots of important things. So I have to assume that people older than me also know lots of things I haven’t learned yet. It’s an assumption, not an observation. But it often bears up.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I don’t know @susanc. My stepmother was much older than me but I recall as a child being acutely aware of the crap that would come out of her mouth. She was old, but uneducated. I was never cruel to her, but I certainly didn’t respect her as a source of knowledge.

rojo's avatar

All joking aside, regardless of age, income or social status, real respect must be earned and cannot be coerced.

Buttonstc's avatar

Heck, I am an elder already.

But I respect people of any age until they show me reason not to.

As a child and young person, there was the admonition to honor your Father and Mother. However, my stepfather was an ignorant, hateful, racist so my respect for him went out the window pretty quickly. You can’t honor someone who is not honorable.

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Esedess's avatar

“Age does not bring wisdom. Often it merely changes simple stupidity into arrogant conceit. Its only advantage, so far as I have been able to see, is that it spans change. A young person sees the world as a still picture, immutable. An old person has had his nose rubbed in changes and more changes and still more changes so many times that he knows it is a moving picture, forever changing. He may not like it—probably doesn’t; I don’t—but he knows it’s so, and knowing it is the first step in coping with it.”

—Robert A. Heinlein

In short, of course!! I respect their experience.

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